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Thread: Circle of 5ths

  1. #26

    Default Re: Circle of 5ths

    Quote Originally Posted by journeybear View Post
    "6 2 5 1 – This common jazz turnaround is just a progression of 4ths. For any key, start with the 6th of that key and move left on the circle. For example, a 6 2 5 1 in C would be Am Dm G7 C. Starting on the A, just move back stepwise to C."

    What I've run into a lot more than this progression - which is enharmonic - is this: A7 D7 G7 C. That shows up a lot in swing, which I've played a whole lot of over the years, but also in other genres, even bluegrass. I even call it "the Salty Dog form," because that's the whole song right there (in another key). Also, because that II7 V7 I shows up so much, and the interpolated chromatic descent from the I to the VI7 brings things back around again, it gets used a lot, and again, not just in swing, but in blues, rock, country, and others.

    Now I don't profess to know much about jazz, nor why this works nor is as popular as it is and has been for so long, but I just wanted to include it.
    A - D - G - C should be called a circle of fifths progression because each chord functions as the fifth (dominant) of the next chord. Am - Dm - G - C is a diatonic (within the key) circle of fifths progression.

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  3. #27

    Default Re: Circle of 5ths

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Gunter View Post
    Exactly! The mandolin is tuned in fourths. 1st to 2nd string is a fourth, etc.
    1st course to 2nd course is E5 to A4, which is a descending FIFTH, not a fourth. Octaves matter!

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  5. #28
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Circle of 5ths

    Quote Originally Posted by David L View Post
    1st course to 2nd course is E5 to A4, which is a descending FIFTH, not a fourth. Octaves matter!
    Of course they do. Read my earlier posts in this thread, I’ve already made that point. A descending fifth is the same NOTE NAME as an ascending fourth, that’s the point, and that’s what enables people to “see” a circle of fourths in the circle of fifths. It is as much a circle of fourths as a mandolin is tuned in fourths.
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  6. #29
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Circle of 5ths

    While octaves matter, INVERSIONS also matter, which is why you speak of roots, thirds and fifths in chord inversions whether going up or down the octave to find the thirds or fifth … and as we ponder these things, we may begin to understand why the music teacher chooses to use some practical expressions without much regard to being “correct” in order to avoid pedanticism.
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  8. #30
    Registered User mbruno's Avatar
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    Default Re: Circle of 5ths

    I standby either Circle of 5ths or Cycle of Fourths being the correct name for this tool. Though, just to piss everyone off, I may start calling it the "Circle of Skipping 2nds" haha.
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  10. #31
    Registered User Simon DS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Circle of 5ths

    Quote Originally Posted by mbruno View Post
    I standby either Circle of 5ths or Cycle of Fourths being the correct name for this tool. Though, just to piss everyone off, I may start calling it the "Circle of Skipping 2nds" haha.
    -see? This is why I like MC -crazy people who think like me!

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  12. #32
    Registered User lowtone2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Circle of 5ths

    Quote Originally Posted by David L View Post
    A - D - G - C should be called a circle of fifths progression because each chord functions as the fifth (dominant) of the next chord. Am - Dm - G - C is a diatonic (within the key) circle of fifths progression.
    We call the B section of Rhythm Changes a circle of 4ths progression, because that's how we memorized the circle. In Bb, it's 2 bars of D7, 2 bars of G7, 2 bars of C7, 2 bars of F7, and finally resolving to a BbM7. So, they all sort of function as dominants, but not exactly. Octaves matter not at all.

  13. #33

    Default Re: Circle of 5ths

    Quote Originally Posted by lowtone2 View Post
    We call the B section of Rhythm Changes a circle of 4ths progression, because that's how we memorized the circle. In Bb, it's 2 bars of D7, 2 bars of G7, 2 bars of C7, 2 bars of F7, and finally resolving to a BbM7. So, they all sort of function as dominants, but not exactly. Octaves matter not at all.
    They all function exactly like dominants! They are called secondary dominants. Each chord functions as the fifth (dominant) of the next chord, so it is a series of fifths. There is no reason to call it a circle of fourths.

    You are right, octaves don't matter at all for harmonic function. I mentioned that they matter for naming intervals.

  14. #34
    Registered User Simon DS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Circle of 5ths


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